All of the desserts and treats I've been sharing with you during the past week and a half are all things I made at the end of last year for the holidays. Since the start of 2012, I've actually been eating relatively healthfully (for me, anyways).
Everywhere I look lately I'm finding recipes for healthful dishes, meal plans for cleanses and detoxes, and lists of foods to avoid. I know I'm not someone who could ever do a cleanse -- I'll never give up coffee (and part of my day job entails sampling all sorts of food) -- but I also know there are some changes I can make in my eating habits to include more veggies and grains and cut some dairy and gluten.
I like the idea behind cleanses, that they rid the body of toxins and boost energy, so that (and, you know, my upcoming wedding) is the motivation for trying to pay more attention to my diet and eating habits (and for pushing myself to do some yoga or Pilates each day). Don't worry. There will still be plenty of desserts and comforting dishes here, but I hope to throw in some more lighter, nutrient-packed meals too, starting with this one.
This recipe is inspired by some roasted brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes I saw on Mango & Tomato and a quinoa salad I saw on Two Peas & Their Pod as well as many of the cleanse recipes I found in the January issues (the ones packed with resolutions to eat better) of the magazines I subscribe to.
I noticed that sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and quinoa graced many of the recipes. According to Whole Living, low-calorie sweet potatoes are a winter superfood and a great way to get more beta-carotene, and brussels sprouts trigger detoxifying enzymes in the liver. By now, I think most of us know the pros of eating quinoa, but as a reminder, it contains all 9 amino acids and is a complete protein, making it an excellent source of protein.
I roasted a yam (couldn't find any sweet potatoes and hope they're just as beneficial), brussels sprouts, and red onion with a little thyme, olive oil, and salt and pepper. While the veggies roasted, I cooked the quinoa in some chicken broth because I had an open container in the fridge that I didn't want to waste (that's another thing I'm working on: less food waste), but you could definitely just use water. I tried red quinoa to add a bit more color to the dish. When the veggies were done and the quinoa was ready, I mixed them together with a little sherry vinegar for flavor. I didn't miss cheese, meat, or bread as I feasted on this wholesome meal of nutty quinoa and soft roasted veggies.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Red Onion, And Yam With Quinoa
1 yam or sweet potato, peeled and sliced in rounds, large rounds halved or quartered
12 brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 red onion, ends cut off, halved, and each half quartered
Kosher salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 thyme sprigs
1 cup red quinoa
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth or water
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Toss yam, brussels sprouts, and onion with salt and pepper to taste and olive oil and spread out on baking sheet. Top veggies with thyme sprigs.
Roast for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
While veggies are roasting, rinse and drain quinoa. Then bring quinoa and chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until water has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Fluff quinoa with fork.
Transfer quinoa to large serving bowl. Stir 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar into quinoa.
Remove thyme sprigs and gently mix roasted veggies and 2 remaining teaspoons vinegar into quinoa. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.
What foods changes are you trying to make?